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Description - Free Will and Illusion by Saul Smilansky

Saul Smilansky presents an original treatment of the problem of free will, which lies at the heart of morality and human self-understanding. He maintains that we have most of the resources we need for a proper understanding of the problem; and the key to it is the role played by illusion. The major traditional philosophical approaches are inadequate, Smilansky argues: their partial insights need to be integrated into a hybrid view, which he calls Fundamental Dualism. Common views about justice, responsibility, human worth, and related notions are radically misguided, and the absurd looms large. We do, however, find some justification for enlightened moral views, and grounding for some of our most cherished views of human nature. The bold and perhaps disturbing claim of Free Will and Illusion is that we could not live adequately with a complete awareness of the truth about human freedom: illusion lies at the centre of the human condition. The necessity of illusion is seen to follow from the basic elements of the free will issue, helping keep our moral and psychological worlds intact. Smilansky offers the challenge of recognizing the centrality of illusion and trying to free ourselves to some extent from it; this is not only a philosophical challenge, but a moral and psychological one as well.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780199252596
ISBN-10: 0199252599
Format: Paperback
(233mm x 156mm x 19mm)
Pages: 344
Imprint: Clarendon Press
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publish Date: 6-Jun-2002
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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Author Biography - Saul Smilansky

Saul Smilanksy is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Haifa, Israel.

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